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Stanford Financial Aid Office -- Very Rude

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Replies to: Stanford Financial Aid Office -- Very Rude

  • PumpkinPiPumpkinPi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    I have also had very positive experiences with financial aid. When I arrived in town with my freshman son, we had to run straight from the airport to the FA office to get clarification so we could pay his first bill on time. We signed in and were assisted by a wonderful woman (I wish I remembered her name). The first thing she asked me was how I was doing. She knew exactly how I felt and was so empathetic!

    Yes, we received some aid, but Stanford has made it very clear that ALL students are "subsidized" to some extent. The tuition and other fees we pay do NOT fully cover the costs of a Stanford education. ALL Stanford students are fortunate.
  • anghadanghad Registered User Posts: 140 Junior Member
    Just so you know most FA employees seem to be rude and abrupt. They should find another place to work if they cannot handle the stress. After all we are not asking them to give us their own $$.
  • futureinfinancefutureinfinance Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @newbeinca: "Many of these scholarships are financed through tuitions paid by wealthier students. To date, parents don’t seem to be rebelling against these Robin Hood activities."

    This is exactly why I feel cheated. We are not wealthy, and really cannot afford to subsidize anyone else. Making us, middle class families, pay the inflated sticker price at Stanford to subsidize other families is unethical and immoral. HYPSCM control the high end college market ... unchecked. Makes me feel resentful.

    @PumpkinPi: "Stanford has made it very clear that ALL students are "subsidized" to some extent. The tuition and other fees we pay do NOT fully cover the costs of a Stanford education. ALL Stanford students are fortunate."

    Maybe; although I disagree strongly. Still doesn't justify fleecing some students to subsidize other students. Why is college tuition and fees rising much higher than the overall rate of inflation?
  • PumpkinPiPumpkinPi Registered User Posts: 37 Junior Member
    @futureinfinance: First, this thread is addressing the civility of the staff in FA. I responded about my own experience. I did not want to engage in a debate about the merits of need based aid. It is a different situation for those institutions that provide merit based aid, perhaps, but do you really believe that Stanford be "need aware" and only take rich students?

    Second, those who are "full pay" are NOT paying the full cost of attendance. Period. No student is subsidizing another student's education. Period. The Stanford multi-billion dollar endowment is subsidizing those who qualify for aid. Denying poor students admission would not reduce your costs.

    Third, you know nothing of our financial situation. The FA office manages outside scholarships as well as direct aid, loans, work study, and so on. My son brought with him numerous outside scholarships so that Stanford's endowment did not need to be tapped. (Think Coke Scholars, National Merit, Byrd, and many others).

    Fourth, if you have a future in finance, you need to get a better understanding of what defines the middle class. If your family (I assume your parents, and not you), is wealthy enough that you did not receive one penny of additional support, then you are not in the middle class. Stanford provides aid to many students well above 100K in earnings, and does not count retirement accounts, homes, etc. when it figures out who can receive some aid. If you are so wealthy that you got nothing, and still feel fleeced, then I hope you go somewhere else. I so much appreciate the economic diversity of students, and am happy that my son is now employed and able to "give back" to future students at Stanford.
  • HelenstreetHelenstreet Registered User Posts: 55 Junior Member
    Sorry, my comment was not finished.....

    PumpkinPi, I want to thank you for your respectful and well written post. I agree with everything that you have written. For the record--my agreement is not because my daughter is receiving "freebies" from Stanford, or anything of the sort. To the best of my knowledge, EVERY student who attends Stanford is expected to contribute something to their education. My daughter has NOT received a full ride, and like your son she also received a National Merit Scholarship among a few other merit-based awards. She also will be contributing work-study income, and her earnings from summer work towards the costs of attending Stanford. While my daughter was accepted to other selective schools, including Columbia and Pomona, we love both the obvious economic and cultural diversity of the students that attend Stanford. I am also happy for her to attend Stanford because she is just 16 years old, and I appreciate the fact that "the Farm" is just 500 miles away from home instead of 3000. Stanford has been my daughter's dream school ever since she first talked about going to college. I personally believe that Stanford is the best university in the world whether she was accepted there or not. Regarding futureinfinance's comments about her attending a private school, she would have been just as successful in her school academics had she attended a good public school. She was recognized at an early age for special abilities--particularly writing--and skipped a grade. High school has never been a challenge for her; she thought her AP BC Calculus class, (one of just a few AP's her school offers), was easy and fun, LOL! Also of note--a higher percentage of applicants accepted to Stanford attend public school as opposed to private school. My stepson attended a very good southern California public school, went to the University of Michigan for his undergraduate degree, attended Brooklyn Law School, and he is now a practicing lawyer in NY. I have 4 children--my 10 year old attends public school, my 5 year old attends a public Mandarin immersion charter school, and my 3 year old will attend the same charter school. Interestingly, a whopping 40% of applicants are admitted from the state of California. Furthermore, admissions to the school she does attend is highly selective; she was accepted into the 6th grade for one of approximately 6 available slots with more than 60 applicants. Her school gives preference to the privileged, those who can afford for their children to attend without any financial aid, enroll their children in preschool when financial aid is not available, and admissions is not based on a child's academic merits and test scores. My daughter was one of only 3 students from her school who was accepted to Stanford, (her school's trend is 3 students every year, for some reason); the other 2 students were accepted as athletic recruits. Probably the smaller class size has something to do with it.

    That said, I do believe that it is important on these threads to be respectful and mindful that everyone's situation is understandably unique. If Stanford and other selective schools only admitted students whose family's are financially well-off, upper middle class, and/or middle class, they would lack both the diversity and exceptional talent that makes these schools the very best, in my opinion.
  • TheGFGTheGFG Registered User Posts: 6,217 Senior Member
    Stanford also pays well for work study jobs and research positions, $12-15 per hour, which beats a fast food job and helps the student who needs to work. D is a non-scholarship athlete on regular need-based financial aid. Even with being in-season all 3 athletic seasons as a distance runner, she was still expected to work as part of her FA her freshman year. She worked as much as she could, and Stanford adjusted up her sophomore year's financial aid based on how much she had actually earned during the previous academic year, which was less than they anticipated. In other words, they are fair enough to want you to do your part, but aren't punitive about it.

    Secondly, if you work hard, your Stanford degree will pay you back by enabling you to command a high salary in your internships and first job after graduation. D knows kids who are earning $5,000/month this summer at internships.
  • futureinfinancefutureinfinance Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @PumpkinPi: "Stanford provides aid to many students well above 100K in earnings, and does not count retirement accounts, homes, etc. when it figures out who can receive some aid."

    To say that Stanford does not count (equity in) homes in calculating need-based aid is simply wrong. Your home is not spared and is considered a resource to pay for college.
  • futureinfinancefutureinfinance Registered User Posts: 18 New Member
    @TheGFG: "Secondly, if you work hard, your Stanford degree will pay you back by enabling you to command a high salary in your internships and first job after graduation. D knows kids who are earning $5,000/month this summer at internships."

    $5,000/month internship while one is still a student is good. However, $5,000/month after graduating with a degree is not a big deal -- it amounts to only $60,000 a year. I would expect Stanford graduates to earn north of $80k a year (after tax, one can then look forward to approximately $50k a year). With Stanford degree costing around $250k, the pay back period will be around 5 years, minimum.
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